Connecting our Clients to the Lifestyle of their Dreams – Weekend Getaways: Austin

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Ever thought about Austin?

A perfect time for a Road Trip to check this area out! Home to the Texas State Capitol, The University of Texas, iconic Sixth Street and keeping things weird, Austin has established a vibe all its own — think California-cool meets classic Texas charm. Every street, shop and local hotspot is buzzing with a vibrant elegance, yet offers a cool and eclectic flair.

Here are some of our favorite recommendations for the perfect weekend road trip to Texas’ most Instagram-able city.

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Where to Stay

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Hotel Saint Cecilia@hotelsaintcecilia

A secluded property that embodies the elegance of old-world luxury and the irreverence of artistic spirits and revolutionary idols alike. Visit the lobby shop for exclusive finds, like fragrances crafted with flowers from the hotel’s own garden.

Where to Dine

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The Knotty Deck & Bar | @knottydeck

Cap off an eventful day with Texas-themed cocktails, farm-to-table scratch fare and arguably one of the best patios in town.

Where to Play

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Unbarlievable | @unbarlievable

Toast delightful libations in an incredibly fun atmosphere with a carnival theme.

Let’s Chat: 214.769.2142 or read the full story in our spring/summer issue of Grand Vie: Luxury in Living.

For more information on Austin or any other city around or near DFW, just connect with us by calling or texting 214.769.2142.

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Connecting our Clients to the Lifestyle of their Dreams – OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING TRENDS 2019

As warmer weather approaches, party planners start buzzing about outdoor entertaining. For many people, nothing can beat a springtime garden party, mid-summer poolside gathering, or early fall bonfire. With good planning and vision, your outdoor gathering can boast just as much luxury and style as any indoor soiree.

In general, the trend for outdoor entertaining in 2019 will be a blend of comfort and elegance, with well-designed outdoor spaces, thoughtful food and drink, and bursts of creative flair like unique flower arrangements or craft cocktails.

If you’re interested in incorporating some upcoming trends into your outdoor entertainment plans, here are some ideas to get you started:

JUST ADD FIRE

Attractive and functional fire pits are a popular choice for those who frequently entertain outdoors. Safer and more elegant than an open fire, the right fire pit can enhance your patio decor while providing a cozy spot for guests to gather. Outdoor dining tables with built-in fire pits combine functionality with comfort and fun, and fire pits can be found in many styles to match your taste. Toasting marshmallows can be a luxurious activity with specialty flavored marshmallows and whimsical skewers.


ECO-FRIENDLY ENTERTAINING

Sustainability is a trend across the board, and for outdoor entertaining that means sustainable decor and tableware. With more and more companies offering eco-friendly products, hosting a sustainable party can still be both elegant and tasteful. Melamine dishes come in a spectrum of colors and patterns and are perfect for outdoor dining. Try fun patterned paper straws instead of plastic ones. As a bonus, these alternatives feel much more luxurious than plastic.

Local food is a big part of the sustainability trend, and it fits right into the atmosphere of an eco-friendly outdoor gathering. Find a high-end catering company that sources local ingredients, and let your guests know where the food is coming from. From quality grass-fed steaks and locally caught fish on the grill to seasonal fruits blended into cocktails, sustainable food can elevate your festivities.


CAPTIVATING CORAL

Adding color to outdoor spaces is an exciting trend for 2019 (no more greige!), and what better way to embrace this concept than using Pantone’s Color of the Year? This year, the color is Living Coral, a mellow, uplifting shade. Try incorporating coral into your outdoor design with throw pillows, blankets, outdoor rugs, and tablecloths. You could even work it into your flower arrangements or cocktail recipes. Bold color choices are also trendy, so don’t be afraid to use colors that pop for your outdoor entertaining.


CREATIVE LIGHTING AND FLOWERS

Now that more extravagant lighting solutions are available and accessible, expect creative hosts to ramp up their lighting style when planning outdoor gatherings. Layered lighting, projections, and strong lighting statements are all ways to create an impressive atmosphere for outdoor entertaining.

Floral arrangements have moved beyond simple tabletop centerpieces and are often a striking piece of design in and of themselves. Monochromatic floral designs, flower ceilings, and unique plants like succulents will be gracing patios and gardens in 2019. If floral design is beyond your own comfort level as a host, hire a good local florist to help prepare for your outdoor parties.


INNOVATIVE COCKTAILS

Nothing enhances an outdoor gathering like the perfect cocktail. For outdoor entertaining in 2019, cocktails will have surprising ingredients – think turmeric or mushrooms. Locally-produced spirits (especially gin) will be a hot ingredient and educating guests with tastings and flights will be a highlight. Even mocktails will be elevated beyond the standard Shirley Temple as more sophisticated nonalcoholic mixers and recipes are available.

Whether you follow some of these trends or bring your own creative touches to your outdoor parties, this entertainment season is sure to be full of fun, comfort, and luxury.

Looking for more entertaining inspiration? Check out our tips on how to Pamper Your Party Guests with The Finest Offerings.

For more information on outdoor entertaining, just connect with us by calling or texting 214.769.2142.

Connecting our Clients to the Lifestyle of their Dreams – TOP 5 LUXURY RETIREMENT DESTINATIONS

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Retirement should be about experiencing life to its fullest in a new city. Relocating to a new place allows retirees to dive into new cultural experiences, relax in a new setting, and meet people from all around the world. Those thinking about retiring luxuriously should look towards certain cities that offer breathtaking views, top-rated restaurants, and high-end homes. Here are five of the top locations from around the world to consider when purchasing a luxury or high-end vacation home.

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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA  |  RM10,500,000

MALAYSIA

If you are searching for beaches, islands, or rain forests, Malaysia is the ideal retirement destination for you. The unofficial language of Malaysia is English, making it an easy transition for retirees from America. Those looking to live an outdoor lifestyle will love the various activities available mixed with year-round good weather. There is so much beauty for retirees to enjoy in Malaysia.

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SCOTTSDALE, AZ, USA  |  $1,435,000

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA

One of the premier vacation destinations in America is also one of the premier retirement destinations. Those looking to indulge in golf during retirement will find Scottsdale to be the perfect location, because the weather is ideal with sunny conditions almost 90 percent of the time and only seven inches of annual rainfall. Not only can retirees enjoy the dozens of area golf courses, but there are more than 125 galleries, museums, and performing art venues to enjoy and various boutique shopping and fine dining options to choose from. Scottsdale is one of the fastest growing areas in the country and loaded with luxurious homes and condos that will fit any retiree. Retiring comfortably comes easy in Scottsdale.

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SALES DE LLIERCA, SPAIN  |  €2,950,000

SPAIN

Spain is made up of beautiful beaches, spacious mountains, picturesque forests, delicious food, world-class festivals, and friendly locals. Besides having to learn Spanish, those retiring will have an easy transition to the new atmosphere, and they will find it a comfortable place without having to give up anything they love from America. It is easy to fall in love with the local culture, and there is an active nightlife for those looking for a good time. It has one of the best healthcare systems in the world and they are also known as one of the most tolerant places to live. Spain is a great destination to call home during retirement.

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NEW YORK, NY, USA  |  $6,750,000

NEW YORK CITY

New York City is home to more billionaires than any other U.S. city, and there are plenty of luxurious things in the city for them to enjoy. Mass transit, elite doctors, and a multicultural population make the Big Apple a great retirement location. People from all cultures and lifestyles can be found here, and New York City is much safer than other competing large cities. Designer shops, award-winning restaurants, and the best entertainment is available to those who call New York City home. For the right price, retirees can even enjoy a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline from the luxury of their home. Retiring should be fun, and New York City can make that happen.

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SAN QUIRICO D’ORCIA, ITALY  |  €3,400,000

ITALY

Discover romance, picturesque settings, timeless villages, snow-covered mountains, and obscure islands during retirement in Italy. Some of the finest foods are found here, but it may take a lifetime to experience all of the tastes available. Beautiful scenery, stunning real estate, and quality health care are some other reasons to retire here. Retiring in Italy is a magical experience that will make you feel as if you are living in a dream.

If you are looking for a retirement destination in the U.S. or abroad, now is the time to start searching. Make the most of your retirement and find a luxurious destination that is right for you.

For more information on buying a luxury home, check out the Top 5 Reasons You Should Purchase a Luxury Vacation Home in 2019  OR just connect with us!  214.769.2142

Connecting our Clients to the Lifestyle of their Dreams – MAKE A STATEMENT: WATERFRONT LIVING

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Imagine awakening to views of the sun glimmering off the surface of a nearby lake or feeling a cool ocean breeze just outside your window every morning. The crisp smell of nature and the relaxing sound of gentle waves can only be experienced when you live steps away from a stunning body of water. Take a look at these homes for an inside look at some of the most beautiful seaside retreats around the world.

We are here to Connect you to your perfect Lifestyle…..

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PENTHOUSE AMONG THE CLOUDS

Naples, Florida, USA  |  $1,650,000

Situated just above the Venetian Bay lies this remarkable 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom luxury penthouse. Updated features, including wood flooring and high-end accents throughout breathe new life into this stunning beachfront home. Residents will enjoy views of the Gulf, white sandy beaches and tropical palm trees through the 9ft floor to ceiling windows inside the home. The Park Shore Beach promenade walk and an upscale shopping center are located only steps away from the main residence. Web ID: DMHO


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UNIQUE CARIBBEAN JEWEL

Petite Saline, Saint Barthelemy  |  PRICE UPON REQUEST

This incredible estate overlooks the bay of Lorient and is surrounded by greenery and vegetation. Both expansive and private, the home hosts incredible amenities including an infinity pool, a fully equipped kitchen with a breakfast bar and a private tennis court. The 5-bedroom, 5-bathroom estate spans more than three acres and includes several rooms with direct views of the ocean nearby. Web ID: SIDQ


Web ID: UDAE

CASA REAL

Playa del Carmen, Mexico  |  $13,500,000

Designed by renowned Mexican architecture firm Sordo Madaleno, this beautiful beachfront estate is truly one of a kind. With a rooftop lounge area, master bedrooms overlooking the ocean and a unique contemporary design, this home is equipped to satisfy even the most discerning buyer. For residents looking to enjoy the sights, the estate is only five minutes away from Playa del Carmen’s famous Fifth Avenue, which hosts several boutiques, restaurants and nightlife for locals. Web ID: UDAE

Click here to View more stunning waterfront listings around the world using our advanced search.

Connecting our Clients to the Lifestyle of their Dreams…Featuring: SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?  Here’s an idea –  Named the best city in the world by Travel + Leisure in both 2017 and 2018, the small town of San Miguel de Allende is revered around the world for its stunning architecture, incredible cuisine and peaceful lifestyle. Gaining attention from both retirees and expats, the city is becoming increasingly popular leaving many to wonder if home prices will increase over time. In this month’s Global Market Guide, we take an inside look at the current state and the predicted future of the luxury real estate market in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?  Want to know more…just call us: 214.769.2142

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MARKET TRANSACTIONS

Transactions in San Miguel are primarily done in cash, so many agents have found that it is easier to vet clients because they know that potential home owners are coming to the table prepared to buy.

Exclusive listings are prevalent among sellers in the market. Buyer representation is not dominant like it is in the United States although, there are agents in San Miguel de Allende that focus specifically on helping buyers throughout the transaction since the process is much different than in other parts of the world.

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CURRENT HOUSING MARKET

Clients come to San Miguel for the high-end location, stunning views, pools and a relaxing quality of life. Recently, buyers in the area have been looking for homes with cleaner lines and contemporary design, which differ from the arches and Spanish colonial aesthetic that is dominant in the area.

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NEW CONSTRUCTION

There has been an influx of new construction just outside of the city within the past 5-7 years, and many luxury buyers have been attracted to these new developments. Traditionally buyers are interested in nearby attractions such as vineyard and equestrian offerings and several have been attracted to the mall and golf course near many of the new developments outside the city.

LUXURY BUYER PROFILE

Because San Miguel is a secondary market, where many buyers travel to purchase second and vacation homes, many buyers are often very clear on their preferences when purchasing a residence. These buyers are focused on harnessing the cultural experience with a level of sophistication.

CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE

Last year (2018) proved to be the best year on record for our member. Sales saw a significant decrease during the election, however following the election, when it was confirmed that the peso would not be affected, sales began to increase. Since the election prices in the area have remained steady and buyers are once again confident in the market.

GROWTH IN THE MARKET

Currently, San Miguel is seeing significant price improvement in the area, which our member predicts will stabilize the market for the next quarter. The demand for real estate is high in the area as more retirees and expats flock to the area.

Both culturally and artistically dynamic, the small city is protected by UNESCO preserving much of the original architecture and historically significant monuments that draw potential buyers to the area.

In mid-2018 local authorities temporarily blocked individuals from selling buying or remodeling properties until new regulations were set up to limit and preserve architecture in the area. Since then, new construction has remedied much of this and San Miguel de Allende continues to expand welcoming locals and foreign buyers alike.

 

Special thanks to our member CDR Bienes San Miguel for providing their insights about the luxury market in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

For more information about properties in San Miguel de Allende, browse here.  OR just contact us directly at 214.769.2142

Connecting our Clients to the Lifestyle of their Dreams…5 REASONS YOU SHOULD PURCHASE A LUXURY VACATION HOME IN 2019

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? If you’re thinking about buying a luxury vacation home, now is the right time. According to real estate experts, 2019 is a great year to make the move, especially if you’re looking to purchase in a popular location like the Hampton’s or Hawaii. This year’s sales are already up in these luxury markets, which means if you’ve been on the fence, it may be time to start looking before prices go up. Despite an uncertain housing market, second home purchases remain strong. Here are the top 5 reasons to purchase a vacation home in 2019.

POTENTIAL FOR RENTAL INCOME

Vacation rental revenue for 2019 is already up to over 14 million dollars in the US, and it’s expected to show an annual growth rate of 6.4 percent, resulting in a market volume of more than 18.5 million by 2023. Although your primary reason for purchasing a vacation home is to enjoy your time off work in a relaxing location far from home, you’ll likely only be there during specific times of the year. So, why not turn your vacation home into a temporary rental property for periods when you are away?  In addition to gaining a second income from the rental property, you may even be able to deduct expenses for the property at tax time. Be sure to contact your tax professional for detailed information regarding your specific property and financial situation.

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ADDITIONAL TAX BREAKS

Speaking of potential tax benefits, any home you own provides a significant tax break. Especially if you use the property solely as a second home, your mortgage interest and property taxes may be tax-deductible. Again, be sure to seek advice from a tax professional before making any assumptions about your tax situation.

PROFIT OVER THE LONG TERM

Although all property fluctuates in value, vacation properties are more likely to appreciate due to their location in popular areas. Especially if your vacation home sits on land where it’s difficult to build, like on the side of a mountain or near a small piece of shoreline, it can increase in value as more people visit the area and want to move in.

IT’S CONVENIENT AND FAMILIAR

If you’ve ever planned a vacation to a place you’ve never been, you already know the challenges that come with the experience. Not only are you in the dark as far as how enjoyable the trip will be, but you have to trust online reviews and photos of hotels. Once you book your reservation, you can only hope that your vacation spot turns out to be the wonderful place you imagine. Alternatively, if you already have a vacation home, you never have to worry about the unknowns. You can have peace of mind in knowing exactly what to expect in advance. You hand-selected and purchased the property yourself, so you know you’ll love the area. Plus, after a few weekend getaways in your new place, you’ll grow to love the familiarity of coming home to your second home.

THE PERFECT PLACE FOR A CELEBRATION

Another fantastic benefit of purchasing a luxury vacation home is that you never have to search for the perfect venue for your cousin’s wedding reception or your grandmother’s birthday party. In your gorgeous vacation home, hosting memorable celebrations is easy and stress-free. Instead of wasting time searching for a venue and then worrying about whether it will work out to your specifications, you can spend your time focusing on celebrating the momentous occasion ahead.

Whether you’re looking to purchase your luxury vacation home in the US or abroad, the time to invest is now. Make your dream a reality in 2019 by beginning your search for the perfect luxury vacation home today.

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Looking for your next vacation home? Contact us directly at 214.769.2142

Connecting our Clients to the Lifestyle of their Dreams…LIVING ON TOP OF THE WORLD: THE LUXURY PENTHOUSE

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?  As members of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, and part of a Global Community that can help you make your move anywhere in the world.
Tell us where you want to go!  To see more Luxury – just click here Cynthia and Diego Lopez 
penthouse
It’s the apex of exclusivity, the one-percenter of luxury real estate. The appeal of the penthouse is obvious – it sits above the rest, commanding the best views, the best amenities and the highest prices. Since first appearing in New York City during the rapid urbanization of the Roaring Twenties, a time of unmatched extravagance that continues to influence today’s high society, the penthouse has become a universal symbol of status. Elevated above the clamor of the city, yet without the worry of noisy neighbors above, here is a diverse collection of top-floor residences in prime locations.
Manhattan Luxury Apartment
Simply put, New York City’s penthouse market is legendary and lucrative. Every square foot is valuable and a six bedroom penthouse in TriBeCa, such as this, with two kitchens, a home gym, media room and three ample sized terraces is a rare and beautiful thing. Immaculately designed, the home maintains an authentic loft feel on a grand scale with exposed brick walls and an awe-inspiring skylight that soars from 11 to 22 feet above the main living and dining area. A suede-clad and wood-paneled staircase leads to the top level and main terrace, capable of accommodating a seated dinner of 70 guests and expertly landscaped with hedges and vine covered pergola for the utmost privacy.
Paris Luxury ApartmentWhen you wake up in the morning and step out onto your terrace, having a clear view of the Eiffel Tower and Seine River is nothing short of surreal. Occupying the 7th and 8th floors of a 1930s building in the desirable 16th arrondissement, this Parisian penthouse boasts just that, with mesmerizing panoramas of the entire city from multiple terraces. Large glass doors open to seamlessly connect the indoor and outdoor living spaces and invite the postcard-like scenery inside, where seven bedrooms provide sufficient accommodations for friends and family.
Seattle Luxury Apartment
Outfitted with designer finishes from top to bottom, this chic Seattle penthouse captures westward views of the city, Puget Sound and Elliot Bay. Encompassed in rich African Anigre custom paneling, the large foyer immediately exhibits the home’s high level of craftsmanship, further evidenced in the kitchen with Crema Europa limestone from Turkey. A ThermArt gas fireplace graces the main living area, which features electronic shading and draperies, as well as state-of-the-art touch screens and home automation that’s carried throughout. Gold Standard LEED certified, the eco-friendly building offers myriad amenities, such as a library, fitness center, guest rooms available for rent and even a pet exercise area.
Valencia Luxury Apartment
Living in a tenth floor penthouse in Valencia, one can enjoy unobstructed views of the city’s dramatic, yet relatively low skyline. Located in the center of one of Spain’s most storied cities, on the prestigious Paseo de la Alameda and directly across from the Turia River Bed Gardens, the apartment was recently renovated with sleek, high-end finishes. Highlighted by a massive L-shaped terrace overlooking the world-renowned cultural center, the City of Arts and Sciences, the penthouse offers the best vistas in Valencia, where you can dine in open air and watch the sun set over the city or take a relaxing siesta before a night out.
Vancouver Luxury Apartment
Situated atop the Wall Centre, a Vancouver landmark, one doesn’t merely get breathtaking views of the city, but also English Bay and the North Shore Mountains beyond, as is only possible in this part of Canada. Upon entering the foyer of this modern Vancouver penthouse, one is greeted by a two-story wall of glass framing the magnificent scenery and a grand spiral staircase leading up to the second level. The mint-condition residence benefits from floor-to-ceiling triple glazed windows, 24 hour concierge and security service and luxurious hotel amenities, including a fitness center and indoor pool. With three bedrooms and a dedicated office space throughout nearly 5,000 square feet, the spacious pad is the pinnacle of luxury in Vancouver.
No matter where you are in the world, the penthouse will always be regarded as the crème de la crème of real estate. It’s the most distinguished, the most sought after and it doesn’t need a unit number – all you have to say is “the penthouse” and people know.